Marketing & Branding News:
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, reported a 14% volume decline in the United States in the second quarter of 2023. The decline was primarily due to a drop in sales of its flagship brand, Bud Light.
Bud Light sales fell 16% in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year. The decline was attributed to a number of factors, including a right-wing backlash against the brand’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In April, Bud Light announced that it would be partnering with Mulvaney to promote its new “Up for Whatever” campaign. The campaign was met with backlash from some conservative groups, who accused Bud Light of promoting transgenderism.
The backlash led to a boycott of Bud Light, which is estimated to have cost the company $395 million in lost sales.
In addition to the backlash against the Mulvaney partnership, Bud Light also faced competition from other brands, such as Modelo Especial and Michelob Ultra. Modelo Especial overtook Bud Light as the top-selling beer in the United States in June.
AB InBev said that it expects sales of Bud Light to recover in the coming quarters. However, the company’s stock price has fallen by about 20% since the Mulvaney partnership was announced.
The decline in Bud Light sales is a sign of the changing landscape of the beer industry. As consumers become more health-conscious, they are turning to lighter beers, such as Michelob Ultra. The beer industry is also facing competition from hard seltzers, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.
It remains to be seen whether Bud Light will be able to regain its former glory. However, the company’s recent struggles are a reminder that even the biggest brands are not immune to change.